NASCAR’s most popular track, known for its rousing thrill-a-second action, will be getting a new look this summer that should make for even more exciting racing as the .533-mile oval at Bristol Motor Speedway receives a new concrete surface after the March 25 running of the Food City 500.
And just like the one-of-a-kind racing fans get at Bristol Motor Speedway, officials commissioned a one-of-a-kind machine to do the job.
Baker Concrete Construction, Inc., of Monroe, Ohio, developed the Gomaco Slope Paver, an all-new machine, to handle the specifications of Bristol’s unique high-banked oval. A pair of unrelated Baker Construction companies (Baker Construction Services of Bluff City, Tenn., is the other) head the project that should be completed by mid-July.
SMI’s Development team hopes the new surface promotes even closer racing and a much smoother ride for the drivers. The famous Bristol banking will remain the same. Crews plan to begin demolition for the entire racing surface, track apron, pit road, inside retaining walls and 80 percent of the outside walls March 26, the day after the Food City 500.
This project marks the first time since 1992 that the entire track undergoes a complete resurfacing. In the summer of that year, then-track owner Larry Carrier made NASCAR history when he created NASCAR’s first all-concrete racing surface.